For many people, Twitter is a mobile-only application. In fact, last year the company reported that 75% of its over 2 million monthly active users access Twitter from mobile devices. Perhaps it’s because of this that the inherent design challenges of the Twitter desktop profile have not been addressed. I’m referring to the issue that arises when you’ve designed a pixel-perfect Twitter background that can be easily thrown into chaos if a user adjusts their zoom or has a different screen size than the one you designed for.

For the 25% of users who do view Twitter web profiles, they have seen the Twitter background addressed in two different ways by graphic designers. First, there is the ‘caution to the wind’ approach, where you put something meaningful in this space and hope for the best, like Ritz Carlton:

Ritz Carlton Twitter Feed

Second, there is the completely agnostic approach, where the designer creates a background that says nothing about the brand, but is guaranteed not to look wonky for anyone. Nike is a good example:

Nike Twitter Feed

But soon, these brands’ profiles (as well as your own!) will get to shake off the fear of screen variations entirely and start designing for the new, improved Twitter web profiles. Rolling out this week, the new look features a panoramic hero image, a square profile picture, and a neutral background behind infinitely scrolling tweets. I noticed this morning that The White House is one of the chosen profiles I follow with the new layout first:

White House Twitter Feed

Not only does the new layout have a new form, it also has new functions that should bring big benefits for businesses. Here are three that Twitter highlights in its official announcement:

1. Best Tweets: This feature will dynamically update your feed to highlight the tweets that are getting the most engagement activity. They will appear larger than the rest.

2. Pinned Tweet: My personal favorite, this feature allows admins to pin a tweet to the top of their profile so it does not immediately disappear down the tweet river as it has in the past.

3. Filtered Tweets: Users can now choose how to view a brand’s feed with filters for all tweets, photos and videos, or tweets with replies.

The estimated timeline for full release is “in the coming weeks” but it’s never too soon to start planning. Go ahead and choose the images you’ll use for your hero and profile pictures now so you can make the changes right away when your profile is updated. Want to start posting eye-catching images that take advantage of the new layout and filtering? Check out Pagemodo Post Designer! You can easily create graphics and post them directly to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the product marketing manager and resident blogger for Pagemodo. Loves social media, branding, whales. Get more from Sarah on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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